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I love it when a plan comes together!

In light of the thread "Not A Hobby" - I think I concur. This way of grooming is what I want to be a part of my lifestyle.

I am not saying that I have not chased new things at times and spent too much money to say that this has saved me any, so far, it hasn't. But it has taught me a better way to care for myself, and afforded me more enjoyment.

I don't need anything else. I find it liberating to come to peace with that. That is NOT a criticism of anyone else's approach, I get it. This is a relatively cheap hobby to pursue, and all of the hobbyists I feel really have driven the market to excel in products and availability across the board. I love some other expensive things like fountain pens and Martin Guitars and the list of my consumeristic ways can go on....

But my needs are met AND I have found enjoyment. I have intentionally pursued good but more economical stuff. And I'll be dang if it hasn't worked well. Is it possible that something else may be better? Well, sure. But to me, sometimes ignorance is not all bad - seeking to erase it at times in many areas has led me to misery. The misery of being un-satisfied.

I have gotten back into this in the last six weeks or so after finding a $5 Gillette Slim at an antique store in my town. I LOVE MY SLIM! No, it is not new. No, it is not the latest. Sure, maybe it has been improved upon, but it was $5! Since I returned, it is the only razor I have used, and I will not say I have mastered it, but we get on like a house on fire, and it is all I need. I have a '40's SS and a '50's Red Tip, and a Rockwell 6s, all from several years ago when I was chasing the trends. They all have their place, they are all great. They would all meet my needs by themselves, so I am still an example of excess, but I have two sons, and I will keep them around for them to try. My slim was what I thought was un-attainable when I joined here in 2014 due to price. Funny how it has fallen out of fashion, but to me it is still great, and I am blessed to have it.

I had settled on Arko as my soap before after trying many. It is good, if I get it thick enough, no issues at all, and cheap. I have plenty for years. I decided this time to try some creams. I have enjoyed that splurge, but with roughly 1000ML of cream all told, I am set for a good long while there, too. And, on the upside, these creams have taught me that my Arko Lather was too thin. So, money well spent.

I have chased brushes, but again, the most expensive I remember buying is my Trafalgar T1. I own 4 synthetics, and that is too much as well, but my sons like them, so now they will all stay for them. I have enough.

I remember reading this forum years ago and there was always discussion in the Aftershave forum about how "cheap juice" is not to be discounted. The most expensive A/S I have ever had was Fine Platinum - found a bottle in a store that sold damaged stuff cheap, possibly Amazon returns before we knew what that was, for like, $10. Man it smelled GREAT! but for me, it performed no better than AV or Clubman stuff. But the smell was divine. Cheap Juice is still good to me, even if I don't smell divine. After mastering my Slim and improving my lather, I am one comfortable daily shaver who is enjoying the routine again.

Razor Blades - to me, these are worth exploring a bit more. But when you find one that works and feels good, you could probably stop there if curiosity doesn't get the better of you. I do well with Gillette blades - Astra SP and Nacet and Platinums are all great. I have some more from my sampler I put together this time around to try. But the 200 Nacets and 150+ SP's I still had from before are plenty. Nacets were not really popular when I was on here before, just being heard of. But this stuff works, and works consistently. And I am happy with it.

As a bass and guitar player, I have spent $25,000+ over the past 27 years of playing to find what I liked. This has been way easier to explore by far! Ha!

I grew up watching my mom never being satisfied with what she had, almost no matter what it was. I can be like that, too, if I am not careful. But she was not often at peace. I would rather be at peace and be satisfied. I also have to read forums like this carefully or I know it will spark all of the acquisition disorders!

I know, and TOTALLY agree that: YMMV! But thank you for reading and for being the kind of community that allows and fosters this kind of discovery of one's self and needs. It is a blessing to be so welcomed and so well educated by those who care.

Thank you all! Thanks for reading. And peace be with you.


I shaved a fortune
I really only have two other hobbies... I have 2 custom Petro guitars, but I purchased them in the early 2000s when they were reasonably priced.. and photography, the most expensive for me because I photograph birds and other assorted wildlife, for the most part.

My small collection of shaving stuff pales in comparison. That said, my heavy experimentation of gear and software has settled down substantially. It took a year to figure out what I like. Thankfully, the items that didn't work for me worked for others via BST. I made sure everyone got a great deal.
As a bass and guitar player, I have spent $25,000+ over the past 27 years of playing to find what I liked. This has been way easier to explore by far! Ha!
I own 3 custom basses (Fodera, FBass and Valenti) and a few 70’s Fenders and god knows how many pedals.

I therefore agree!
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